How to cultivate a thriving company culture in a hybrid landscape
Porschia30 Aug, 2023
In today’s rapidly evolving work landscape, where remote and hybrid work models are becoming the norm, building a strong company culture has never been more critical.
At SnapScan, we firmly believe that a culture of engagement not only boosts business productivity but also enhances employee retention. After all, how employees feel about their work is a driving force behind organisational success.
Engaged team members are not only more productive but also more likely to stick around, refer potential colleagues, and contribute to a positive work environment. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, can lead to decreased productivity and higher turnover rates.
I recently spoke to Angela, our People Success Partner, and Julie, our Head of People, to learn about the strategies for success they’ve implemented and the importance of building a strong company culture.
They highlighted that these efforts should go beyond just creating a positive work environment and are an essential aspect of strategic planning.
Use these key tactics to enhance your own company culture:
1. Measure and monitor engagement
Measuring and monitoring employee engagement is crucial for establishing key metrics such as growth and development, employee performance, and communication effectiveness. This process helps identify areas for improvement within the company culture.
Regularly survey employees to gauge their engagement levels and track progress over time. These surveys help determine whether your engagement efforts are having the intended effect and allow for adjustments if they are not.
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2. Develop a holistic engagement strategy
A comprehensive engagement strategy is key to ensuring optimal engagement.
At SnapScan, our engagement strategy involves conducting engagement surveys, providing regular and intentional upskilling opportunities, maintaining constant communication, offering regular feedback, creating individual development plans, and setting clear expectations for career advancement within the company.
3. Set clear expectations
Having clear expectations of your employees and communicating what they are is essential to keeping your employees engaged. It is important for them to understand their roles and how they contribute to the organisation.
Employee engagement is determined by how well staff comprehend the expectations of their behaviour and functions, how they can surpass these expectations, and why their roles and behaviour are important. However, expectations are often not clearly communicated, causing confusion about what needs to be done, why it should be done, and what impact it will have.
4. Understand employee motivations
Different employees are motivated by different factors such as work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, growth opportunities, fair compensation and having the opportunity to do meaningful and challenging work.
Understanding what drives team members will allow businesses to tailor engagement efforts to each individual’s needs, enhancing and strengthening their connection to the company.
5. Lead by example
Leaders play a pivotal role in shaping engagement within the company. When leaders themselves are actively engaged, meaning they are genuinely invested and enthusiastic about their roles and responsibilities, they are better positioned to inspire and energise their teams.
By consistently demonstrating their own engagement through actions, communication, and a visible passion for their work, and by understanding the profound link between business success and employee engagement at the highest levels, they initiate a powerful trickle-down effect.
This effect ripples through the organisational hierarchy, fostering a culture of involvement, commitment, and enthusiasm that positively impacts not only the immediate teams but the entire organisation as a whole.
6. Establish an effective feedback loop
Open communication and feedback channels are essential for keeping employees engaged. Soliciting feedback from employees, recognizing exceptional efforts, and genuinely acting on input demonstrates a commitment to improvement and fosters trust within the organisation.
7. Third-party input
Bringing in an objective, third-party perspective can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement.
At SnapScan, we proactively collaborate with external consultants, such as Baobab Connection, who bring their expertise to the table.
Through their involvement, we facilitate open and candid discussions, fostering an environment of trust where employees are empowered to openly share their apprehensions and ideas.
This collaborative approach not only identifies areas that need improvement but also cultivates a culture where every team member feels at ease expressing their concerns, ultimately contributing to a more vibrant and thriving workplace.
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8. Promote active communication and collaboration
At SnapScan, we foster continuous communication using platforms like Slack. This helps us cultivate an online culture of connectedness.
We’ve also created various communication channels that cater to diverse interests and projects, which further fosters a sense of connectedness.
9. Promote team bonding and social interaction
Creating opportunities for team bonding and social interaction is vital when you have a remote or hybrid work environment. We welcome new hires with a group lunch to help them feel at ease and build relationships. They also write a short blurb about themselves to create points for social connection and conversation.
At SnapScan, we prioritise fostering meaningful connections among team members. We refer to these moments as “moments that matter” and strategically plan them throughout the year to encourage team bonding and inter-team connectedness.
Our events, including mid-year and year-end functions, offer opportunities for reflection, celebration, and social interaction. Additionally, we host monthly company-wide meetings, online learning pods, and in-person inter-team training sessions to further promote engagement and collaboration.
This year, we implemented a company-wide learning program to boost our emotional intelligence, gain a deeper understanding of diverse social styles and preferences, and refine communication skills such as active listening, giving and receiving feedback, and having candid conversations. We firmly believe that these abilities are paramount to our business’s triumph. Furthermore, we urge our teams to hold a social event every quarter to foster strong inter-team relationships.
We also organise initiatives such as giving back to the community on Mandela Day. This allows our teams to have fun together while doing something meaningful that gives back to our community.
10. Prioritise employee well-being and work-life balance
It is important to prioritise the well-being of employees in a remote or hybrid work environment. One way to do so is by providing mental health days, which allow individuals to take time off when they are emotionally overwhelmed and unable to work effectively.
Additionally, offering generous annual leave, providing coaching sessions, and emphasising the value of psychological safety can all contribute to a healthy work-life balance and a positive company culture.
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One thing is clear: To build a thriving company culture in a hybrid or remote work setting, taking a comprehensive approach is crucial.
The ability to thrive in the remote and hybrid work landscape is dependent on strategic engagement efforts, clear communication practices, and unwavering commitment to employees’ well-being. By continuously evolving and adapting your business practices, other businesses can foster a flourishing company culture in the modern world of work.
Our success is rooted in a multifaceted approach that encompasses various aspects of employee engagement and well-being. We recognize the diversity of factors motivating employees, allowing us to tailor our engagement efforts.
By acknowledging that each team member’s motivation is unique, we strengthen our connection with our employees, fostering a sense of belonging and commitment.
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